Tuesday, November 29, 2005

AARST in Boston - not optimal

On November 16, 2005, I participated in a workshop held by the American Association for the Rhetoric of Science and Technology (http://aarst.jmccw.org/) as part of the National Communication Association Convention in Boston from the 17-20. Up front, when you go to the AARST website, there is an ad for AARST thongs at this site (http://www.cafepress.com/aarst.14703376). No comment.

These are colleagues on mine in rhetorical studies. In general, I left concerned that rhetorical theorists seems more interested in studying historical artifacts than getting their hands dirty in contemporary issues. This seems to be a recurring issue in the entire field of the societal and ethical implications of nanotechnology and will be an issue I return to soon.

While there are some rhetoricians involved in the "Intelligent Design" controversy (for better and worse), few of the others seem concerned with contemporary science issues except for an impressive group from the University of Colorado's Center for Science and Technology Policy Research (http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu). Led by a young aggressive assistant professor named Lisa Keranen, her students presented an preliminary analysis examining a speech by John Marburger.

Included as part of the workshop was a presentation by Chris Mooney on his book THE REPUBLIC WAR ON SCIENCE and he added a brief discussion of the Plan B issue (fiasco). I had a chance to speak with Mooney and plan on reviewing his book against some others in the area of politicizing science.

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